Meet our Judges for the TEDxGlasgow Award 2017

Just last month we shared the exciting news of the first ever TEDxGlasgow Award and now we’re happy to tell you a bit more about the people who will be judging the applications.

What an impressive bunch. Having spent time researching and meeting with numerous people from across industries, and receiving recommendations, we are delighted that these busy individuals are willing to be part of something new with the TEDxGlasgow team. We’re even more excited still for the applicants to have the opportunity to meet Scottish business leaders, successful in their field and genuinely great people, who have agreed to give up their time to help new ideas flourish and support positive change. They have a passion for success and they want all of the applicants to achieve their very best, all whilst having some fun along the way.

On the 27th of April, this huge pool of experience will come together to welcome the top 10 applicants to pitch their idea. From these, two will secure a space on the TEDxGlasgow stage on the 2nd of June, at the SEC Armadillo, and then it will be down to the attending audience to live select the ultimate winner.

It will be a fantastic experience and an incredible opportunity.

TEDxGlasgow Award Judges 2017

Stuart Brown, Barclays Bank

Stuart Brown is Head of Banking for Small and Medium Enterprise Companies in Scotland & Northern Ireland for Barclays Bank. He has a wealth of experience in supporting businesses over his 29-year career. He has been the bank manager in a variety of roles from Relationship Manager to Credit Officer, Regional Director of Corporate Finance function, leading the Barclays Aberdeen team and now as Head of SME Banking he has experienced and assisted many companies with their growth ambitions, as well as ensuring support in challenging times. He strongly believes in a strong personal relationship between banker and client with an investment of time to wholly understand the relevant business, so that appropriate support can be provided as well as value added advice and appropriate introductions made to help entrepreneurs and businesses capitalise on their opportunities.

Sandy Kennedy, Entrepreneurial Scotland

Sandy Kennedy is Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland. Entrepreneurial Scotland is at the forefront of a movement to inspire, develop and connect Scotland’s leaders to build the most entrepreneurial society in the world. With world class Saltire programmes, a fast growing membership network and the support of some of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurial Scotland provides a unique range of support to ambitious individuals able to boost Scotland’s economic growth.

A law graduate of Cambridge University, Sandy qualified with Ashursts in London specialising in private equity before joining 3i, the venture capital firm. On returning to Scotland, he founded and grew significantly Klick Photopoint’s online and direct business and then led jointly the turnaround of Bowie-Castlebank’s complete business with a turnover of £120m. He is on the Advisory Boards of The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, MIT REAP Scotland, Informatics Ventures and The Scottish EDGE Fund and is on the Board of Social Investment Scotland.

Silka Patel, Cisco Systems

Silka is a strategic marketing expert with 15+ years’ experience of working within the travel industry and global blue chip organisations like Cisco. Her current role as Strategic Marketing & Planning Manager is to successfully deliver and reflect market industry trends in digital technology to help future-proof the UK’s CIO business needs and requirements.

In previous roles in Cisco, Silka drove business results in global thought leadership for both the service provider and enterprise sectors using internal and external communication across traditional and digital media. She has also worked in the emerging markets theatre where she was responsible for adapting and driving new concepts by strategically influencing key stakeholders and delivering regional marketing campaigns.

Silka moved from London to Glasgow in 2008 and is the Founder and Chair of Scotland Women in Technology group (SWiT), where she actively drives to attract, inspire, empower and retain women and young people into the sector by developing a community and network to help grow women’s contribution in IT business. She also leads the Women’s Group in Cisco Scotland with several initiatives and programs to develop the progression and collaboration of the Women’s community. Silka has also held a Non-Executive Director position at Glasgow Women’s Library for the last 3 years advising the board on marketing and digitalisation aspects for future growth. Her most recent board appointment, in October 2016, is as a member of the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Economic Leadership Board.

Margaret Gibson OBE, EY Foundation

Margaret is passionate about helping others to develop skills and build useful networks. With over 30 years of experience in the small to medium-sized enterprise sector as an entrepreneur, advisor and mentor she is driven by the pleasure of seeing others succeed in business. Her dedication to supporting others was recognised in 2015 when she became the first woman in Scotland to receive the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, one of the highest business honours in the UK.

The EY Foundation is totally focussed on supporting young people with their ambitions for work, education or enterprise and they provide paid work experience, mentoring and coaching to help young people succeed.
Margaret is a committed volunteer and currently serves as a Governor of the University of the West of Scotland, as a committee member with the Institute of Directors Scotland, and a member of the Board of The Lens. She is also a fellow of the RSA and holds an MBA from Strathclyde Business School. She was recognised in the New Year’s Honours list 2017 with an OBE for services to Business and Entrepreneurship.
She is rather partial to nice shoes, loves travelling and could not live without music and books.

Evelyn McDonald, Scottish EDGE

Evelyn McDonald is the CEO of Scottish EDGE, a funding competition aimed at identifying Scotland’s, innovative, high growth potential entrepreneurial talent. Previously run by Scottish Enterprise for four rounds, Evelyn oversaw the spin out of the competition in Autumn 2014 to the private sector led Scottish EDGE C.I.C funded by RBS, Scottish Government, the Hunter Foundation and private donors. To date, Scottish EDGE has awarded over £8 million to 234 businesses in Scotland. Excluding the 40 winners in Round 9 the businesses have created 818 new jobs to date, generated £45.06 million of additional turnover and attracted £44.12 million of external funding. The introduction of lending to the winners in Round 5 – Scottish EDGE and Higgs EDGE prizes are 50:50 loan and grant – has created a revolving loan fund to support future applicants.

Prior to joining EDGE in November 2014, Evelyn had a long career at the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust, and latterly the Prince’s Trust, initially in pre-start support and then in operations. In 2002, she helped set up and run a successful growth fund which assisted over 300 trust-supported businesses, including BrewDog and Aircraft Medical, providing access to loans of up to £25k and follow-on support. Evelyn is also an assessor of the Small Business Charter Award.

David Johnstone, After Digital

As co-owner/MD of After Digital David is responsible for driving the growth and strategic direction of the agency. David has worked with the company for over 13 years helping it go from strength to strength, overcoming challenging times, breaking its first £1m turnover, expanding into international markets and supporting the development of fresh talent. Very much a hands-on MD, his academic background in software development perfectly positions him to work with clients in establishing clear goals and objectives for their digital projects, whilst overseeing the quality of the agency’s output. Combined with over 16 years experience in sales, which includes Hewlett-Packard and the Phoenix Car Company he brings client-facing expertise and a sound understanding of how digital can be leveraged for success.

A long-term supporter of TEDx initiatives, David has also developed an annual pro bono initiative within the agency that has seen thousands raised for charity and supported the successful delivery of new initiatives including Charity Champions and the Icon Awards. He offered the agency’s resource up to help start the first Coder Dojo in Scotland and deliver mentoring from Holyrood. Most recently, David has been asked to join the board of an innovative new social enterprise startup in Manchester, focused on supporting young people into careers.

Tasked with bringing this group together, Brendan and I feel that we’ve been successful in capturing a diverse mix of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, which will enrich the judging process for all involved.

Applications for our TEDxGlasgow Award 2017 are now closed. Thanks to all those who entered, we were overwhelmed with the amazing ideas and submissions. 

  • Written by Pauline Houston
  • Posted on March, 1 2017

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